02.03.2018 change 02.03.2018

Scientists form Łódź want to help doctors select endovascular prostheses

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Łódź researchers are developing tools for individual selection of endovascular prostheses for patients with abdominal aortic aneurysm. As a result, doctors will be able to select the best graft for the patient before surgery and minimize the risk of complications.

The development of a non-invasive method for the selection and optimisation of endovascular prostheses (stent grafts) is the task of a four-person, interdisciplinary team of young scientists from the Lodz University of Technology and the Medical University of Lodz.

"We are trying to prepare a tool that will predict whether a given graft solution, its specific configuration, will be burdened with the risk of possible complications for a given patient. Will there be a leak or displacement - our tool allows to predict that" - says one of the authors of the solution Dr. Andrzej Polańczyk from the Faculty of Process and Environmental Engineering, Lodz University of Technology.

Researcher have built and tested specialist experimental equipment and a mathematical algorithm for analysing various types of stent grafts. Based on clinical data from patients, the system allows for an analysis of any spatial configuration of abdominal aortic aneurysms for specific haemodynamic conditions (blood circulation in the cardiovascular system).

Using medical data received from radiologists, researchers reconstruct 3D images of aneurysms as well as grafts that are placed in them. As a result, they can print flexible aorta models on 3D printers, into which they implant different types of grafts in order to determine whether a given type of prosthesis will involve the risk of complications in a given patient.

"At the same time, using data, we reconstruct 3D mathematical models to simulate the flow of blood through such prostheses to develop a two-tier approach - numerical and experimental - to optimising endovascular prostheses" - adds Dr. Polańczyk.

This allows to predict whether there is a risk of complications for a given patient, and if so, how big, before implanting the graft.

Ultimately, the researchers want to create a tool that will support doctors who design intravascular prosthesis procedures. Before the implantation, the tool will select the best solution that will allow to avoid complications that often result in the need to repeat the procedure.

"Based on the results from our tool, the doctor will be able to propose the best prosthesis for the patient and reduce the risk of post-implantation complications to a minimum" - adds the co-author of the project.

The system developed by the researchers from Łódź is currently patent-pending. It will be further developed and commercialised.

"We would like this tool to be used in other centres, not only in Łódź. Perhaps the industry could also use this approach to modify currently sold prostheses or design new solutions" - says Dr. Polańczyk. He admits that scientists are considering designing their own endovascular prosthesis solution in order to be able to practically use the knowledge gained during the project.

The project, which is expected to be completed this year, is being carried out by a team composed of: Eng. Michał Krempski-Smejda, Dr. Michał Podgórski MD, Dr. Maciej Polańczyk and Dr. Andrzej Polańczyk. It is being developed under the Leader V programme financed by the National Centre for Research and Development. The budget of the project is PLN 1.2 million. (PAP)

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